Continuing Tales

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 20 of 30

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The Ties that Bind

Makoto banged a pot onto the stove top.

"Careful there, I only have one stove," Mamoru called from the living-room area of his apartment. Easing his very sore body onto the couch he attempted to pretend Makoto wasn't trying to destroy his kitchen. He almost wished he'd asked Nolan to take him with him where-ever he'd decided to teleport to in the last five minutes.

Usagi, in the kitchen with Makoto, motioned for Mamoru to leave the two alone. He didn't need to be told.

"Why does he have to act that way?" Makoto was muttering to herself, "I don't understand it. He's"

"Mako- chan - uh -"

"So...Stuck UP!"

Usagi blinked and took a hasty step backward as Makoto yanked the dial on the stove up to the highest setting. She then watched quietly, large blue eyes wide, as Makoto thrust her bangs off of her face and took a few deep breaths.

"Do you want about it?"

Makoto took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Without turning around she began;

"Usa-chan...I feel so...upset."

"Yeah, I got that."

"I mean," Mako whirled around, leaning against the counter, "Things were going so well in the beginning..."

"Yeah, it seemed like it...but?"

"First it was just little things, but before I knew it we seem to argue over the temperature..I fly off the handle without meaning's really bad if we've just been battling the enemy, or something stressful has happened."

Usagi gave a little chuckle and Makoto stared at her.

"Sorry," she smiled, "It's just - what you just said - it reminds me of when Mamoru and I first met."

Makoto's lips almost twitched into a smile.

"Not that bad, I hope."


"But still, now that you mention it - it's a good point."

"We argued over everything - and we still don't always get along -"

"But it got better," Mako insisted, "Look at the two of you now."

"I don't think you're seeing the whole picture, Mako-chan."

"I used to idolize what you guys have," Mako sighed, "I used to think if I were just lucky enough to find a guy like Mamoru-kun -"

"But you have!"

Makoto crossed her arms and blew her hair out of her face with unnecessary violence.

"I did - for some brief moment."

"But, Mako-chan," Usagi began, smiling hesitantly, "That's kind of what it's like."


"Brief moments, I mean. Mamo-chan and I love each other deeply, but our moments of pure love - like what I think you mean - are few and far between. It means that you've moved out of the honey-moon phase."

Makoto blinked.

"But we've only known each other -"

"But," Usagi interrupted, her smile growing mischievous, "How well did you know each other in the Silver Millennium? You're picking back up, right?"

Makoto blushed to the roots of her hair.

"Not that well!"

Usagi giggled.

"The two of you were pretty close, no matter how much you tried to hide it, if I remember correctly. And the two of you always moved at a break neck speed -"

"This from the woman who decided she wanted to marry Endymion after seeing him once -"

Usagi rolled her eyes.

"I know what I want when I see it. I don't like to waste time - but if we can get back to you two -"

"Yes, and it's not a good enough point," Mako countered, "Cause regardless of where we pick up from, I'm not who I was then, and neither is he -"

"I think you just answered your own problem," Usagi suggested, nibbling on a cookie.

"No - wait - what? And stop eating," Makoto jerked the cookie out of her hand, "We're about to have dinner!"

"But, Mako-chan," Usagi began in a whining voice.

Makoto frowned. Usagi looked contrite, but eyed the cookie plate with envy when Makoto returned to watching the pot.

"Maybe," Usagi spoke after a moment of cookie lust, "Maybe the problem isn't that you are different people now. I mean, maybe that's not the whole problem. Maybe it's that you just aren't telling each other everything you should."

"But whenever I'm just being me - which is the way I am - uncomplicated with a capital U -"

Usagi coughed and Makoto eyed her with suspicion, before going on:

"When I'm being myself, he doesn't like it...And I start to wonder if he just doesn't like me," she finished, her anger dying out, "Maybe I really am that different."

"You are different, I guess," Usagi admitted, "I don't really remember everything that clearly yet, but in my mind the past you always seems quieter for some reason. But I think that all of us were different in our first lives - I mean, there's no way that I'm Princess Serenity, you know."

"Bunny, that's not a hard one to figure out."

"Anyway," Usagi ignored the quip, "As I was saying, I think that our lives were so different before - our upbringing and all that - that our behavior is probably way off from what it was then. But we're still the same deep down. It's not like we got new personalities or something. And I may not be as ladylike as I was in the past -"

Here Makoto gave a snort which Usagi also ignored, though not without extreme effort.

"- but Mamoru and I still get along - because in our hearts, we are still the same two people who fell in love on the Moon."

Makoto mulled this over, but came to no quick conclusions.

"The kinds of relationships that we have," Usagi went on, " - you and Nolan, me and Mamoru - they aren't exactly...well...normal."

"Whadda you mean?"

"Well, how often are two people separated by death, and then pick up their relationship a second time around?"

"I guess that is kind of weird."

"And how often are two people soul mates?"

"Didn't Rei say something like one in a jillion?"

"Something like that - which reminds me - where is Rei?"

They looked into the living room, and Usagi called;

"Mamo-chan, what happened to Rei-chan?"

"Jade took her back to the Temple."

Usagi and Makoto turned back to one another to exchange significant glances.

"Now there's one relationship I don't understand."

"Tell me about it!"

"I mean, all Rei ever does is taunt the poor guy - or fuss at him - or ignore him, and he -"

"Keeps coming back for more, I know. It's crazy. I feel so sorry for Jade-san."

"Me too."

They shook their heads in unison.

"I just wish...," Makoto began.


"I wish we could get over this phase and get on to the one where we don't get annoyed with each other and can be lovey-dovey again -"

"Everyone's different. Maybe if you talk more about your past with each other, you might figure it out...and you're both kind of hot-headed."

"Maybe," Makoto admitted, her face turning a little red.

"Although, you know, it could be sexual tension too."

Makoto's face went blood red and she almost dropped her pan.

"What are you saying, stupid Usagi!" she hissed.

"What? It's natural!" Usagi declared, "And you're the one who makes all the 'lewd' comments anyway -"

"Yeah, but I only talk big," Mako whispered, still scandalized, "I mean I may have a dirty mind, but I don't actually - I mean -"

"So how far have you gotten?" Usagi asked, raising her eyebrows suggestively.

Makoto twisted her finger in her hair and blushed hotter. Leaning in very close, she whispered:

"You saw Mina and Konnor's little display? About half of that."

She drew back and Usagi took a little gulp. Then, to Makoto's surprise, Usagi grabbed Makoto's shoulders and tugged her forward until their noses touched.

"Makoto, this explains almost everything. The reason you are so irritated and you feel like you're on your period constantly...It's because you and Nolan have not yet -"

"I get the idea, Usagi."

"Next time you argue, take a tip from Mina and grab -"

"That's ridiculous! And I'm totally not ever going to -"

"What are you ladies whispering about in here?"

Usagi and Makoto jerked apart so quickly that Usagi tumbled off the back of the stool and was only saved from a bruised head by Mamoru's fast reflexes.

After righting Usagi he looked from one flushed and guilty face to the other. He quirked an eyebrow.

Makoto whipped around to the stove where the water in the pot was nearly boiling over and she gave a little shriek.

"We were having girl talk," Usagi explained.

"I thought you were having cooking lessons?"

"That too."

Mamoru wisely remained silent and proceeded to help Makoto cook dinner.

Jade rubbed his eyes. They were sore and red - he hadn't slept at all.

But he heard the whispered question all the same and stood up silently from beside Rei's bed.

Closing the door to her room behind him he met Nolan's troubled gaze.

"She's alright," he answered, "Just sleeping."

Nolan nodded.

"But that's not what you really teleported all the way over here at three in the morning to ask me is it?"

Nolan shook his head.

Jade sighed and motioned for the man to follow him into the main room where they sat on the matted floor.

"What's up? Woman troubles?"

"How did you know?"

"Are you serious?"

Nolan looked away, rubbing the back of his neck, and Jade bent to prepare the tea that had been left there earlier.

"I don't know how to stop this - this bickering that's cropped up between Mako-chan and me."

Jade continued to pour in silence.

"I mean," Nolan continued, still studying the wall, "For a while there I was in heaven - literally - and then...she's just different from what I remember."

"And that's the reason, is it?"

Nolan found he couldn't meet Jade's gaze directly.

"So," Jade began, as he offered Nolan a cup, "This bickering between the two of you is because Makoto isn't the same as you remember her being in the Silver Millennium?"

"Well, she was more lady-like. She didn't talk about...things..."

"Uh-huh. What things?"

"You know - like making lewd comments."

"These lewd they seem to annoy anyone else?"

"Well, no. Except for Luna."

"Except Luna. Well, let's put the girl's den-mother out of the picture for a moment, shall we? Tell me honestly, Noles. What's really bugging you? Apart from Makoto's 'lewd' comments."

Nolan scowled into his tea for a moment and Jade took the opportunity to ease his tired muscles into a more comfortable position.

"Maybe," he grumbled at last, "Maybe it's just that we aren't suited to each other."

Jade took a long sip of his tea.

"You really think that?" He asked, quietly, "Cause if you do, then I guess your theory about soul mates is completely blown."

"I never said -"

"'She's my goddess', 'she's the one', am I getting your words right?"

"Yes, I said that," Nolan admitted, "But I feel - "


"Yes. No. Yes."

"You see, Noles, the trouble with you is that you are a hopeless romantic."

"Well, what about you -"

"Oh, I'm romantic, just not hopeless...well, not entirely. I don't think a mad man can ever be hopeless."

"I don't follow -"

"Never-mind, we're talking about your dysfunctional relationship here, " Jade cut in, "And the bottom line is, you aren't being honest with yourself. As usual."

"How am I not being honest?"

"Really, Noles? Really? Let's see," Jade raised his hand and began to tick off his points on corresponding fingers;

"First, you jump headlong into a fairy-tale romance with your soul mate and expect the candle-light and roses to last forever; second, neither one of you is tops in the reality check department; and the number one reason, which happens to be third, is that you are in denial."

"What am I denying, exactly?"

"Simple," Jade smiled, "You are denying the fact that Kino Makoto is a very attractive woman...a very sensually attractive woman. And you'd like to -"

Nolan planted his cup on the floor and opened his mouth before remembering that it was three in the morning, and most of the house's occupants were resting.

"Listen here, Izumi," he hissed in a heated whisper, "My feelings for Makoto are entirely honorable."

"I have no doubt that they are," Jade whispered back, "But the fact of the matter is that you are male and she is female, and honor doesn't have a damned thing to do with that."

Nolan snapped back, his face dark as a thunder cloud.

"Just admit it already, Noles. You'll be a lot happier. And for goodness sake, it's natural!"

Nolan refused to speak.

"Noles...this really has to end. It's not a horrible or dishonorable thing to feel that kind of attraction to the woman you claim to love."

"I do love her."

"Well, there you go. It's not wrong. Besides, I don't really believe this whole virtuous and courtly love attitude of yours anyway. In the silver-millennium, Zoisite was the only one of us who was more of a ladies' man than you, and that's because he had the attention span of a gnat. Has."

"But I'm not who I was then -"

"You haven't changed that much," Jade smirked, "Come on, Noles. Be honest. You're much better at controlling your impulses to flirt now, but you still have the impulses. And with a girl like Makoto, I honestly don't know how you've managed to last this long without the Nephrite I remember coming back out."

Nolan's frown deepened.

"I remember what I was like - but that's because I was brought up differently from the way my family brought me up in this life. In the time of the silver-millennium they let us run wild and no one cared a fig about etiquette except in front of royalty."

"Those were the days," Jade sighed, "And you loved it, you hypocrite - you know you did. You can't keep denying your nature."

"I know that, but...Makoto is gentle and she ought to be treated like a lady."

Privately Jade didn't quite see the same 'gentle' side of Makoto that Nolan did, but he kept that to himself.

"I think you have a very romantic and courtly idea of love - probably Makoto does too, although between the two of you I think she has a more common sense."

"I don't see -"

"I know, but as your personal psychiatrist, I am telling you - admit that you want to - "


"- get to know her better," Jade finished, "Does that satisfy your propriety?"

Nolan remained locked in deep thought for several minutes while Jade watched him, sipping his tea with vague amusement.

"You don't think she'd hate me?" Nolan asked at last, his expression humble.

Jade sucked in a breath.

"No," he replied, casually, "No, I don't think she would. In fact, I think she would probably be relieved. You know, sometimes when you go overboard on the chivalry act, you end up making your girlfriend feel like you aren't interested...sometimes. Does that make sense?"

Nolan nodded, slowly.

"And she won't hate me?" he asked again, troubled, "She won't think I'm an animal if I act a little less -"

"Like a prude? I doubt it. Unless you're planning to throw her over your shoulder or something. Although I don't think you could get away with it- not with that princess."

"Not with any of them."

Nolan squared his shoulders, then let out a long breath that had a chuckle on the end of it.

"You know," he said, shaking his head, "Sometimes I don't know how I get myself into these messes."

"It's alright buddy," Jade answered, "It's mainly because you think with this -"

He patted the other man's chest, just over his heart.

"And that's a good thing. There should be more of you, and less cold bastards like me."

"You're not as cold as you'd like other people to think."

"Get out of here before I blush."

Nolan waved his thanks before disappearing.

Jade stood still so long that when he reached for his tea it was thoroughly cold. He shook himself out of his thoughts and returned to the dark room to wait for Rei to wake up.

The Ties that Bind

A Sailor Moon Story
by Firefly-shy

Part 20 of 30

<< Previous     Home     Next >>